Ecclesiastes 2:12-17 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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12 And then I took a hard look at what's smart and what's stupid. What's left to do after you've been king? That's a hard act to follow. You just do what you can, and that's it. 12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king's successor do than what has already been done?
13 But I did see that it's better to be smart than stupid, just as light is better than darkness. 13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
14 Even so, though the smart ones see where they're going and the stupid ones grope in the dark, they're all the same in the end. One fate for all - and that's it. 14 The wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.
15 When I realized that my fate's the same as the fool's, I had to ask myself, "So why bother being wise?" It's all smoke, nothing but smoke. 15 Then I thought in my heart, "The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?" I said in my heart, "This too is meaningless."
16 The smart and the stupid both disappear out of sight. In a day or two they're both forgotten. Yes, both the smart and the stupid die, and that's it. 16 For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!
17 I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It's smoke - and spitting into the wind. 17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.